May 02, 2022

Senator Hirono Statement on Commencement of APA Heritage Month

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) released the following statement to commemorate the start of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month:

“Every May, our country recognizes and celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month to highlight the significant contributions Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities have made to this country. This month is a time of celebration, but also a reminder of the many challenges our communities have faced and must continue to overcome. From the Chinese Exclusion Act, to the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII, decades of racist laws, the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes throughout the pandemic, and more, members of the AANHPI community have long been the target of discriminatory treatment in this country.

“While we have come a long way, the last two years have been a painful reminder of the anti-Asian sentiment that still exists in our country, and the work that remains. The theme for this year’s APA Heritage Month is fitting—“Advancing Leaders Through Collaboration.” One example of that was in the wake of the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes, communities representing every faith, racial group and ethnicity came together in solidarity. As we commemorate the history of our communities and work to combat anti-Asian hatred, we will continue to collaborate with others in order to build an inclusive future where everyone is treated with respect and dignity.”